Earning Links Instead of Building Them

As Google continues to surprise webmasters and site owners with the impact of its algorithm updates, it becomes more and more suggestive that these updates will eventually render the classical means of creating links obsolete. It is apparent in these occasional updates that Google search algorithm is evolving. That is, Google is getting smarter in filtering sites that would appear on its SERPs.

SEOmoz CEO and co-founder, Rand Fishkin, thinks Google, in all these updates, conveys to us its intention of depriving the value of links built through old-school tactics. He foresees the emergence of the importance of earning links in driving relevant traffic to sites, just like in the mid to late 90s.

Nonetheless, not all conventional ways of creating links would seem to become ineffective. In fact, the manner by which we utilize these link building strategies could shape their role in earning links. Here’s the comparison and contrast of some link building and link earning strategies as discussed by Fishkin. It primarily focuses on how we can turn the classical ways of building links into strategies for earning links.

1. Reciprocal Links and Cross Promotions

Link exchange is now against Google quality policy. We need to earn the goal of this technique in a natural and non-manipulative sense of SEO. We can do this by creating a kind of “mutualism” with another site. By developing a partnership with an authoritative site, our site can get featured without the need of dropping anchor text on other sites just to build backlinks. Our site partner will directly promote our site by mentioning the areas we are expert in and the kind of content we have for and can offer to visitors. In return, we should also promote the content of our partner site to our subscribers and target audience. So this strategy is a sort of making testimonials.

2. E-mail Blasts and Social Sharing

In the old-school SEO, we usually send e-mails to other sites or bloggers, offering them a bait piece or a sort of agreement, to gain exposure. We offer them a free logo or an exclusive content in exchange for a backlink. But we can also get penalized by Google due to “unnatural” linking. Instead of doing this, we may share the link of our content on our social pages. If our followers will find our content useful and interesting, they would share it to their own sets of friends and followers. As our social shares get magnified, they will produce organic links.

3. Buying Links and Earning Links Through Content

Any link schemes that pass PageRank violate Google quality policy. Thus, buying links must not be considered as an option for SEO. Rather, we should earn links by creating quality content. Quality content for Google denotes the relevance of content to searchers. So we need to determine the kind of content our target audience would interest the most and find out the keywords or keyphrases commonly used by searchers to find such content on the Internet. If our content would add value to users’ experience and get them satisfied, more likely, they will be the ones who will share our content on their own social pages or blogs. As a result, natural links that point back to our site will be created through social sharing and citations.

4. Directory Submission and Inclusion on a Curated List

In an interview, a former member of Google Webspam Team admitted that getting listed on web directories is still important link building technique provided that these directories are curated lists and portals. Lists of credible and valuable web resources get shared easily on social networks and linked or cited by bloggers. Hence, curated lists provide the listed sites with valuable exposure. Moreover, the list creator also reaps SEO value from the list with respect to exposure and partnership with the listed sites.

5. Article Marketing and Guest Posting

Many article submission sites were hit by both Panda and Penguin. Hence, pretty good article directories, as of this posting, only have PageRank of five or six. These sites that managed to maintain good PageRank are picky on the kind of articles being uploaded on their pages. Those that accept any kind of article without quality control greatly suffered from the impact of both Panda and Penguin. But having a guest article on an authoritative, credible blog is far better than article marketing. By guest posting, we build partnership with the blog owner while creating quality backlinks for our sites. We also expose ourselves and brand to the site owner’s friends and followers. So guest posting may eventually lead to an enhanced brand exposure and increased number of followers.

6. Link Dropping and Active Participation on Communities

Dropping do follow links on a page’s comment section, online forum, or guestbooks is another old-school link building technique. Google algorithm updates made this technique ineffective. We may also get penalized by Google for spamming using this technique. Rather than dropping links, it’s much better for us to join communities of bloggers and netizens who are experts on our niche. By actively participating in their activities, we can build affable partnership with them. Their followers and other members may also notice us and find interest in our content. Thus, by joining credible communities, we can hit two targets in a single stone: brand exposure and partnership.

7. Mining Competitors’ Backlinks and Mining Competitors’ Content

Since Google now favors sites with quality content, mining our competitors’ best backlinks will no longer serve us best today. Finding out the sites they’re linking to and create also links on those sites pointing to ours, will do less for our ranking on SERPs. It is our content that makes our sites appear on search results. Search engines crawl the web space and look for keyphrases used by searchers in finding information on the Internet. If our sites offer the information needed by searchers, more likely, our pages will appear on SERPs. However, there might be hundreds of sites that offer content similar to ours. So we need to become credible on our respective niches in order for our pages to be chosen by searchers over the other sites. We can build our credibility, as already mentioned above, by joining and actively participating in communities of experts. Another way is to look for a competitor’s best content, then create a more authoritative and extensive content on that topic.

8. Building a Network of Sites and Building a Network of Social Influencers

Establishing a network of sites for the sake of building link popularity is spamdexing. Sites in a link farm are all hyperlinked to every other site in the network. In this way, link farming creates more inbound links for a member site. But this is a kind of search engine manipulation; hence, violating Google quality policy. A far better way of creating quality backlinks can be done by building a social network of influencers. These influencers have a great number of followers who, believing in their authority and credibility, share their content. If we capture the interest of these influencers through our content, they will surely share it to their great bunch of followers. Thus, having influencers in our followers’ list will boost our brand exposure and create natural links pointing to our sites.

Advertising Cost Per Acquisition Through Blogs

Advertising on blogs is almost an ancient thing now even though it’s the most consistent form of promotion on the internet. The only way to maximize efforts through blogging is to consistently stream content on the site. The more content you have, the better your overall rank will be as a site and on the search engines.

Advertising the blog itself is no different from promoting any other site. You just need to maximize your ability to do so. The only difference between blogs and sites is the pinging and the constant updating of content. Blogs are all about content. Regular websites are too but updating a site frequently depends on what type of demand the site needs content-wise.

Now depending on what type of blogging platform you are using, you will absolutely need to have a domain name. It’s the only way you are going to be taken seriously and the only way you will be able to bypass certain restrictions in terms of submitting your blog to directories and advertising sites like Pay Per Click platforms.

If you ask me, the best advertising platform for blogs are article directories and social bookmarking sites. These are some great places to promote because they are free for the most part and you can attract a very specific type of audience.

Promoting CPA offers on blogs is a way to capture the traffic so to speak. Your blog is your traffic funnel. You can get plenty of traffic to your CPA program just through your blog alone.

Since you will be getting traffic from specific sources, then you will capture the correct audience through your blog who will demand more content and more information about the subject you are writing about on the blog itself.

Blogs help people reach you and communicate with you on a major way. If you are going to get people to respect you and give you the benefit of the doubt when it comes to your information, then you will need to keep your blog updated with relevant and current information.

Building a readership takes time so the best thing to do is to keep writing blog posts and to keep promoting on particular platforms such as social bookmarking sites, ping sites and other such platforms that will get you targeted quality traffic to your blog and ultimately to your CPA program and make a profit.

3 Essentials A CPA Affiliate Marketer Needs For Success

There are some essential steps that need to be taken in order for people to make money with CPA networks and programs. These steps are very simple but can make a very powerful impression. In this segment, we will only be looking at three steps to make some money in the cost per action industry.

Need A Website
It doesn’t make any sense for you not to have a website when promoting anything on the internet. A website is the most important aspect in your business because you need to give people a place to turn to find the exact information they are looking for. If you are promoting a program giving golf lessons, maybe you can focus your site on a specific skill set such as ‘golf clubs.’ This will enable you to attract a particular market towards your website based on the theme.

It doesn’t matter what you are promoting, a website will be very useful in collecting names and numbers. This will ultimately build a list of subscribers for your business. Since you would be promoting CPA programs, it will be useful to have a list so that you can simply refer people to particular programs you want to share with them.

Start A Blog
Starting a blog is another very important aspect of your CPA business. Having a blog enables you to build a readership and build a following as well. It’s easier to set up videos as well as set up content that will get you some direct feedback. That is why I personally love to blog because of the interaction involved in this platform.

Blogging is an “ancient” method on the internet. Blogging has been around since the internet has been around. There are many platforms out there but I love to use Blogger because it’s one of the easiest platforms to use out there.

Auto responders
Having an auto responder will help you automate the email marketing process. With programs like Aweber, you will be able to schedule your email messages as well as set up an auto responder for people who sign up for more information on your website.

Auto responders are most effective for marketers with multiple subscribers. It can get really frustrating and really hectic trying to send out emails to hundreds or even thousands of subscribers. Why do this when you can set up an auto responder to automate this process for you.

Source of Site Traffic That Can Help You Get Past Google

Are you willing to invest in a more long-term and reliable organic traffic source for your website? Then let’s look at a search engine that can assist you in increasing your traffic.

Interview an Influencer or Get Interviewed by a High-traffic Website

Have you heard of Tim Ferriss, the author of the Four-Hour Work Week?

His podcast is nowadays a staple content type that he provides to his viewers. Tim’s show has world-class performers who share their insights on a variety of topics, and he is well-liked on social media. Do Tim’s fans enjoy the show? So far, the show has received over 50 million downloads. On most days, it’s the most popular business podcast on iTunes.

Interviews, whether on video or audio, are inherently conversational, lively, and engaging. The great aspect is that it’s a win-win situation for both sides. The interviewer is exposed to a new audience, while the interviewee is able to provide his website visitors with new fascinating and authoritative information. You can ask an industry influencer to share your interview with their followers on social media if you interview them. Consider the organic traffic you’ll get from their social media followers, which number in the hundreds of thousands. Consider the level of interest generated by a prior Derek Sivers interview on the Tim Ferriss Show. Derek shared the show’s URL with his 283K followers on Twitter. It won’t hurt if you establish a relationship with the influencer as a result of the interview.

Similarly, being interviewed by a high-ranking website can result in a significant increase in search engine traffic. Harsh Agrawal’s blog, Shoutmeloud, received 35,000+ views in a single day after he was profiled by YourStory. That was the blog’s most popular search engine traffic source (with 600,000+ monthly visitors). Because interviews provide consolidated value, they can be used as a long-term lead generating source for your company. Consider how many bloggers you’ve learned about through interviews on YouTube and other high-authority websites.

You may also conduct a Reddit AMA if you have a very compelling storey to tell. Mateen’s AMA got about generating $85,000 in profit by selling TeeSpring shirts/hoodies received 2000 page views. He also boosted the number of visitors to his website on a daily basis.

By registering as a source with HARO, you can also answer queries from journalists. On HARO, Christopher from Snappa came across this question from Inc Magazine about the future of content marketing. He swiftly responded with a thorough response. He was mentioned in Inc a few weeks later as a result of this. HARO is an excellent strategy to have your brand mentioned on authoritative news sites such as Entrepreneur and Inc. Those backlinks will enhance your search engine traffic and increase your marketing strategy by improving your reputation in Google’s eyes. Contact an SEO agency to find out how you can do this and how they can manage it for you while you work on the bottom line of your business.